Lady Bracknell speaks her mind about modern dress codes
Lady Bracknell feels that her readers would appreciate the opportunity of reading the rules relating to ladies' apparel which Mr Pocock listed, and has therefore enjoined her editor to copy the relevant paragraphs onto the computing device:
- MORNING. A black coat and skirt, tailored, with a crisp blouse, black gloves, shoes and hand-bag, and small black hat, silk stockings, and everything looking perfectly pressed and brushed.
- AFTERNOON. Frock and fur coat and gayer hat, or a two-piece suit of the more amusing kind. But see that your hat, gloves, shoes and hand-bag match.
In the Country
A tweed coat and skirt (we do not call them costumes) with woollen jumper or aertex shirt, and a good plain felt hat - a really good felt which will stand rain; and wear a scarf rather than a fur. Rain-coat and low-heeled shoes - probably brown - and sports stockings to match your tweed if you can."
Although it has been remarked to Lady Bracknell on occasion that some of the views she expresses may appear to be a trifle anachronistic, she does not consider herself to be incapable of moving with the times. She would be the first to admit that the modern young woman's life would not allow for such regular changing of formal outfits. (She suspects also that modern readers would interpret the phrase, "gayer hat", rather differently from their 1930's counterparts, but prefers not to dwell on that at the current time for fear that her argument might be derailed.)
Lady Bracknell does not anticipate that the modern woman should necessarily dress so formally as to possess matching shoes, gloves and hand-bag for every amusing two-piece suit in her wardrobe. Indeed, Lady Bracknell would unbend so far from the rigid rules of her own youth as to accept the wearing of trousers by members of the fairer sex.
However, there is a limit to Lady Bracknell's tolerance. She had hoped that standards could fall no lower than the wearing of that repugnant undergarment which bisects a woman's posterior, the top of which is always visible above the waistband of its wearer's outer garment. (Quite apart from the truly revolting appearance engendered by such skimpy undergarments, Lady Bracknell is persuaded that they cannot be comfortable for the wearer. Pondering on this tends to result in Lady Bracknell calling for her smelling salts.)
Imagine, then, the extent of Lady Bracknell's horror when she discovered the even more deplorable trend for leaving the house in one's night attire! Young gels gather on street corners local to Lady Bracknell's abode clad only in their pyjamas, and shod with fluffy slippers. (These last, she has noticed, become quickly discoloured when exposed to the surfaces of pavements. A phenomenon which should elicit no surprise in their owners given that they have been expressly designed solely for indoor wear.)
Lady Bracknell is reluctantly forced to conclude that sartorial elegance may be a thing of the past. She is deeply saddened that such a thing should have come to pass in her own lifetime.